Page 1 of 1

Pulled the trigger on new old car musings

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2015 1:24 pm
by Swerve
Wanted E46 M3. Decided they were too expensive to buy and maintain. Decided the MR2 at 1/3 the price was sportier, more interesting and only missing some comfort and practicality. And I suppose class.

So for 2/3 the price of an M3 I picked up a 2000 CLK55. While M-division make BMWs faster but more fragile, everything AMG did to the CLK made it more reliable than a standard MB.

Whereas I ruled out SMG M3s, I can live with the auto (still the worst thing about the car other than it's incredible lack of LSD) because it's the only choice and I'm keeping the MR2 anyway.

image.jpg
image.jpg (117.4 KiB) Viewed 14145 times

Re: Pulled the trigger on new old car musings

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2015 2:16 pm
by Arthur Dent
Nice! They are great lookers. Likely an amazing grand tourer with that big V8.

Re: Pulled the trigger on new old car musings

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 3:03 pm
by ryguy79
That's a pretty badass daily driver/road trip car.

Re: Pulled the trigger on new old car musings

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 3:08 pm
by ryguy79
And now you've got me looking at AMGs on Craigslist when I was just about convinced I would just find a pretzel wagon.

Re: Pulled the trigger on new old car musings

PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 1:53 pm
by Swerve
Thanks guys. I haven't had the chance to take it for a decent trip yet. It's been a month and I haven't even washed it yet.

MPG is certainly not its strong point. On my commute the first couple of km while warming up average 40l/100km (about 6mpg). The commute is 25ish minutes and the last third is a windy road with no lights but a 50km/h (30mph) speed limit. By the time I get to work, the trip average is 16l/100km (15mpg) so not ideal.
Funnily enough, fuel economy is almost identical to the MR2. The aggressive cams are responsible for that showing - the red one used to do much better.

The aftermarket cams make the actual driving experience of the MR2 and CLK night and day. The cams push the power curve higher in the rev range and coming off-throttle below about 2000rpm is almost impossible. The CLK is a much lazier car to drive. The only catch is that 255 rears are not wide enough to grip off the line with anything more than a light touch of the pedal.

The CLK is a great all-rounder. The suspension is amazing - very comfortable yet resistant to body roll. The seats are comfortable (and heated) and the leather is high quality. A big pro for me (possibly not most enthusiasts) is that the C Class platform means it is quite a narrow car. There are obvious benefits to manoeuvrability in traffic and twisty roads, and my girlfriend is less likely to open her door into mine in the garage.

With the exception of the COMAND screen and leather trim, the interior design is dated even for a 15 year old car. And to be honest, my MR2's race clutch, race cams, light weight and lack of ground clearance ultimately contribute to it being the more rewarding and joyful car to drive. Good to have both though.

Re: Pulled the trigger on new old car musings

PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 2:02 pm
by Swerve
ryguy79 wrote:And now you've got me looking at AMGs on Craigslist when I was just about convinced I would just find a pretzel wagon.


Over there you can get the amazing 470hp E55 for not very much money. But I suspect you'd be happier with a manual Subaru. If I had kids, a 99 model WRX would be my choice ahead of any AMG.

Re: Pulled the trigger on new old car musings

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:46 am
by Swerve
Yesterday was a good day for saving money. You expect a few issues with a Benz of this era; mine ticked the common boxes;
- pixels stuffed on the dash clock (not sure if it's anything other than a clock)
- front and rear parking sensors erroring
- stitching come off on the driver's seat bolster (but the leather itself is in unusually unworn and soft condition for a car with thick bolsters)
- pneumatic controls for the seat air bladders not working.

Yesterday my garage remote fell under the seat. Before realising it would be safe to simply move the seat back on its rails, I spent a few minutes trying to pull it through a small gap. About this time I noticed a plastic tube and a rubber one that should probably have been connected. Plugged the together and the pneumatics were back in business for both seats!

I am proud/ashamed (happy to go with your feelings on the matter) to say I hadn't got around to washing the car this whole time. Took it to a self wash place yesterday and enjoyed having a good look around the body. Mercedes obviously know a lot about layering on the paint thick. By far the best condition paintwork of any car I've had. But I can understand how these cars rust away in countries that aren't as dry and snowless as Australia- every tiny stone chip was brown, rather than the typical in my experience white/cream colour.

Anyway, the parking sensors were obviously just dirty because after the wash they started working perfectly!

Two down...

Re: Pulled the trigger on new old car musings

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:49 am
by Swerve
Also discovered the W/S switch next to the gear stick. Presumably Winter/Summer. W is a good way to make progress without lighting the rears up off every stop sign or red light...

Re: Pulled the trigger on new old car musings

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:16 am
by Turbojett
I like CLK's. previous Mercedes always just passed by me without a second glance because I always thought they were all boring. I still think most Sadies are boring, but the CLK's were the first ones that caught my attention, notably the AMG's. And now I always tend to notice all the bright spots in MB's otherwise, dull, dreary, perpetually gray lineup.

I was pissed when they decided to start calling them E-Class coupes though. I get that it was in the name of simplification and consolidation, but the names had already gotten a following. Meanwhile BMW's doing the opposite.

Re: Pulled the trigger on new old car musings

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:13 am
by Swerve
I agree with just about everything. I've alway been a BMW fan and disliked the fact Mercs were auto-only. The original CLK and then SL55 were the exceptions, due to their styling and big engines in small(ish) packages. As I've got older I've started appreciating some of the other shapes, but CLKs/E coupes have gone stylistically backwards each generation.

I promised I'd minimise running costs down by keeping it original. Then I found out how heavy AMG's wheels were. Lucky for my wallet, Carlssons don't seem any better and Japanese brands are very hard to find with suitable widths in 5x112.

Re: Pulled the trigger on new old car musings

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:31 pm
by Turbojett
You could go with other Euro brands that sell lightweight wheels like BBS or somebody. I don't know how expensive they'd be though (probably a lot). I dunno I haven't bought wheels in a long time.

Re: Pulled the trigger on new old car musings

PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:28 am
by Swerve
So a couple of weeks ago I walk into the work car park to see this...

Re: Pulled the trigger on new old car musings

PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:43 am
by tut
how embarrassing ... soemone will have to go home and get changed...